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Are Jury Trials Better Than Bench Trials In DUI Cases?


Almost all DUI trials are jury trials, but occasionally they are bench trials. In order for a DUI trial to be a bench trial, both the prosecution and defense would have to elect to have the case tried before a judge rather than a jury. There are a number of reasons that this might happen. If the prosecution has a weak case but is reluctant to dismiss it, then both sides might agree to have the judge do a stipulated court trial based on the evidence. As a result, there may be an agreement to find the client not guilty on a particular count and add an amended charge. This would help the defendant in a couple of ways.

Any DMV license suspension could be set aside if a person is found not guilty of driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or greater. Alternatively, the person might not be convicted of DUI. If the state has not established by way of the evidence the prima facie case, then sometimes we’ll ask the court to enter a directed verdict at the end of the state’s case, which is tantamount to a finding of not guilty. This may happen if the state fails to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, and this would be a scenario in which the case would never go to a jury. Sometimes the state’s case falls apart during the course of a trial. In these scenarios, the defense could enter into an agreement to resolve the case before the jury’s verdict is even delivered.

Is The Plea Offer Off The Table After A DUI Conviction In California?

Once an offer is rejected and a case goes to trial, the only offer that stands is the one that the prosecution may make during the trial. Oftentimes, the prosecution’s offer is the same as the sentence that a judge would give at the conclusion of a trial. A defendant might receive a better sentence by taking the case to trial. On the other hand, taking the case to trial could result in a worse sentence for the defendant.

How Important Is It For A DUI Defendant To Know All Their Options Prior To A DUI Trial?

It’s very important for a DUI defendant to know all of their options prior to a DUI trial. During the first consultation, I discuss with my clients the possible outcomes and ramifications of their charge. For example, some people do not realize that professional state licenses can be impacted by a DUI conviction. In addition, not everyone realizes that a DUI conviction can severely impact one’s ability to obtain US citizenship. We will also discuss some of the factors that are necessary in order to get a jury to find a defendant not guilty, as well as what the testimony would look like. Since there is a whole host of issues that need to be discussed, I have multiple conversations with my clients during the course of the representation. By the time a case actually goes to trial, our clients are very educated and feel very comfortable with the trial scenario.

For more information on Jury Trials vs. Bench Trials In DUI Cases, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (888) 486-7486 today.

Top Gun DUI Defense Attorney Myles L. Berman

Get your questions answered - Call now for a FREE case evaluation (888) 486-7486.

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